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Full text of "Laughing Torso"

BACK    TO    PARIS    AND    CELEBRITIES
and espadrilles.   He would suddenly appear late at
night at the Parnasse to fetch his master home.   One
suddenly turned round on the terrasse and saw him
standing like a statue.    I asked him if he would
come and sit for me and one afternoon I heard a
knock on the door.    The staircase was very long
and, as a rule, one could hear people pounding and
groaning up the staircase.   He sat without moving.
He was quite terrifying, as, like Landru, he never
blinked his eyelids.    I became almost hypnotized
and had to ask him to rest about every quarter of an
hour.    I did a good painting of him, which was
eventually accepted by the Salon d'Automne.    I
sold it the other day to Miss Ruth Baldwin, and it
now hangs near the cocktail bar in her house in Chel-
sea.   If one paints a good picture it is a little sad to
think that one will never see it again.    I am not
actually speaking of that one, but some of mine have
gone to America and Africa and some have been
bought by people that I do not even know.   I think
writers are so much luckier than painters.    In the
first place it costs them nothing to write.   To paint
costs money.    If one paints a good picture, even a
very good one, it may have a success at an exhibition
and be sold, and it is never heard of again until
one is dead, or, perhaps not even then.   If a writer
writes a book its reputation, if it is a good one, goes
on for years and the writer continues to get money
for it.
An extraordinary man came daily to the Gafe
Parnasse.   He was very tall and frequently wore a
top-hat, a tail coat, and white spats, and carried
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